Art Studio Organization: Tips for Containing Magazine Clutter

I was browsing Facebook last night when I spotted a post by mixed-media artist Jane LaFazio.

"I love my magazines but they are taking over my studio. Suggestions?"

magazines can cause art studio clutter
Do you have art studio storage ideas to contain magazines?
(Photo by Jane LaFazio)

I could instantly relate. I have Mary Engelbreit Home Companion magazines dating back to 1996, all 50 of the Cloth Paper Scissors issues, and 10 years' worth of Quilting Arts, not to mention select issues of home and food mags I've saved for this recipe or that window treatment. Despite my attempts at craft studio organization, corralling my burgeoning magazine collection is a constant battle.

Apparently, I am not alone, as Jane's post not only caught my eye but that of many of her other friends. They started weighing in with ideas for managing magazine overload, and Jane and some of the commenters gave me permission to share their suggestions and advice with you.

Save and contain: A couple of commenters suggested Jane keep all her magazines or purge a few once a year. After all, a project or technique you weren't interested in two years ago might inspire you today. Purchase or make some pretty magazine organizers and store them on shelves in your home art studio, family room, or wherever you like to peruse them.

Save selectively: Many of Jane's friends said they either rip out or photocopy the articles they want to save and put the copies in plastic sleeves which go into a three-ring binder. Some organize by subject, some chronologically, etc.

Scan: Others scan the articles into their computers. (Note: Keep in mind that scans or photocopies are for your personal use only. Making copies and distributing them would violate copyright laws.)

Reuse: Some suggested Jane reuse her magazines to make art.

Donate or recycle: Many people suggested Jane free herself from the clutter by donating her issues to a library, senior center, school, recycling center, or just put them in curbside recycling.

Go digital: Whether Jane saves or purges her back issues, several friends suggested she start getting digital subscriptions for her computer or iPad.

Artist Lynn Krawczyk, who recently completed a studio overhaul, said this about digital: "I had to face this, too, when I did the big studio purge. I kept my favorites (gave myself a limit), and donated the rest to groups/centers who were thrilled to have them. Then I updated all my subscriptions to digital. Good all around!"

Jane was sold: "You know, now that I have an iPad (hello 2013) I think you're right. Time to go digital for my mags."

What about you? How do you contain magazine clutter? Is it time to go digital on a mobile device or computer? There are several options for digital subscriptions to Cloth Paper Scissors. Learn more about digital subscriptions and start managing magazine clutter today!


P.S. Leave your own tips below!

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